Smoked Shorty Pizza
Mohawk Bend Restaurant
At Mohawk Bend Restaurant in Los Angeles, flavorful cooking techniques elevate toppings on the Smoked Shorty Pizza. The kitchen braises short ribs in beer and herbs, then smokes grapes over aromatic chips to top a housemade pizza crust. Parmesan cheese, blue cheese and balsamic vinegar add extra layers of flavor.
1½ tsp. active dry yeast
1½ cups warm water
3-4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
About 4 ½ cups unbleached organic 00 flour, divided
1 tbsp. kosher salt
Braised short ribs
2½ lb. meaty bone-in beef short ribs, silver skin trimmed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 med. onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
6 oz. India pale ale
1 cup vegetable stock
Small handful of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and oregano)
Smoked red grapes
1 lb. red seedless grapes
Smoking chips or tea leaves
2½ cups shredded Parmesan cheese
2½ cups smoked grapes
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
20 oz. pulled braised short ribs (5 cups)
2½ cups crumbled blue cheese
2 bunches watercress trimmed
1¼ oz. aged balsamic vinegar
5 tbsp. minced chives
1. Prepare sponge for dough: In large mixer bowl, combine yeast and water; let stand 5 minutes or until yeast turns creamy. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil; gradually add 2 ¼ cups flour, mixing on low speed until well incorporated. Scrape down bowl; cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour, or until sponge has doubled in volume.
2. Prepare short ribs: Preheat oven to 325 F. Season ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in 5-qt. braising pot over medium-high heat. Add some ribs; brown about 4 minutes on each side. Remove and repeat with remaining ribs until all are browned.
3. Stir in onion, carrots and celery; cook until vegetables start to brown, about 5 minutes. Return ribs pot; add IPA, stock and herbs and bring to a simmer.
4. Cover with parchment directly on ribs; top with pot lid and slide into oven. Braise until meat is very tender, about 3 hours. Let cool in liquid. When cool, shred meat for pizza.
5. Meanwhile, smoke grapes: Place grapes in smoker basket with preferred wood chips. Smoke at 110 F. for 45 minutes. Or line a small pot with foil and add smoking chips or tea leaves to cover bottom of pot. Place steamer basket on top and add grapes. Cover with foil and lid; place over high heat. Cook until grapes are smoky, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
6. For pizza dough: With rubber spatula, deflate sponge, which will be sticky and loose. Add 2 cups flour and salt to sponge; mix at low speed with dough hook of mixer for 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium and bring dough together, adding more flour if needed. (The dough may be a little sticky.)
7. Coat dough with olive oil and transfer to another bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
8. For pizzas: Preheat oven to 500 F. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into five pieces; shape into balls. Using hands, stretch dough balls into rough pizza-shaped rounds, each about ¼-inch thick. Top each pizza with ½ cup Parmesan, ½ cup smoked grapes, ¼ cup red onion, 1 cup shredded beef and ½ cup blue cheese. Bake until golden brown, 5-10 minutes.
9. Top each pizza with a handful of watercress, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with chives. Cut pizza into slices and serve.
Photo courtesy of California Table Grape Commission